Employment status and quality of life in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
until further notice
SourceInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 78, 6, (2005), pp. 467-474
Article / Letter to editor
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Centre for Quality of Care Research
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
SubjectEBP 3: Effective Primary Care and Public Health; N4i 1: Pathogenesis and modulation of inflammation; NCEBP 14: Cardiovascular diseases; NCEBP 3: Implementation Science; NCEBP 7: Effective primary care and public health; UMCN 2.1: Heart, lung and circulation
OBJECTIVES: Recently, the conditions for disability benefits were redefined in several countries, stimulating employees to participate on the labour market as long as reasonably possible. Little is known of labour participation and quality of life (QoL) of employees with chronic diseases. This study examines the associations between employment status and QoL in COPD patients. Additionally, the role of lung function, and work-related symptoms and exposures on QoL were explored. METHODS: Secondary analyses were conducted on baseline data from a randomized control trail. Patients were categorized as: "paid-workers"; "voluntary non-paid workers" (e.g., early retired, house wives) or "disabled for work". QoL was assessed by the Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire (CRQ). Between-group differences in CRQ scores, and associations between work-related symptoms or irritants and CRQ scores were uni- and multivariately analysed. RESULTS: Two hundred and ten patients with COPD were included [mean age 53.9 (SD 6.8) years, FEV(1) %predicted 63.5 (SD 18.5)]. No statistically significant differences in lung function between the employment status subgroups were observed. Multivariable analysis showed that the "disabled" had lower CRQ scores as compared with "paid workers" (0.52 point difference, p<0.001). The CRQ scores of "voluntary non-paid workers" were not significantly different from "paid workers". Within the group paid workers, patients with many work-related clinical symptoms and being susceptible to various work-related irritants experienced a lower QoL than patients who had respectively no symptoms, or who were not susceptible to these factors. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with COPD who were disabled for work showed equal severity of airflow limitation but worse QoL, as compared with paid workers.
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